JESUS AND GLORY
“After Jesus said this, He looked towards heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.’” —John 17:1
The Gospel of John opens with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3). What John is telling us from the outset of His gospel is that Jesus is eternal. Before time began, before there was a beginning, Jesus was there. Through Him, everything came to be; without Him, nothing was made. He is co-equal with God, co-participating in the creation of all that exists.
What the opening of John’s Gospel also implies is that Jesus shares in the glory of God. If this was not clear to us, Jesus confirms this later in His high priestly prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, where we get to hear a conversation between Him and His Father, between God the Son and God the Father in prayer. He prays, “Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began” (John 17:3). In this prayer, Jesus made some weighty statements.
Kevin Stone explains, “God is ‘glorious’ in that His very being is of infinite significance. All God says, does, and thinks is of supreme magnitude and superior consequence. There is nothing trivial about Him. To ‘glorify’ God is to properly recognize His value by ascribing
importance to Him…. If the Father ‘glorifies’ the Son, then the Father’s expressed opinion of Christ is that He is intrinsically worthy of honor and praise. The fact that the Lord Jesus had ‘glory’ before the world began means that His inherent worth is eternal. Jesus, by nature, possesses the quality of infinite value.” Speaking about His relationship with the Father before time even began, in a pre-existent eternity, Jesus had the glory of God.
Jesus is both eternal and divine; He is laden with abundance and shares the glory of God. The mystery that we celebrate at Christmas is in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” At Christmas, we celebrate the glory of God, stepping into human form and dwelling among us.
Dear Jesus, thank You for coming into this world to be our Saviour. Today, and every day, I celebrate You and all that You have done.